January 27, 2015

Argument Is The Healthiest Thing In The World

English: Dialectic and Philanthropic Societies...
English: Dialectic and Philanthropic Societies debate at UNC in the New West building (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I have to just admit that I love argument*. I found dialectics is one of most charming art humans ever created. I also realized, my fondness of dialectics is one of primary reasons that many people stay away from me, and the reason for that, I found, is just that most people think disagreement is too unpleasant to handle.

To say the purpose of argument is to convincing people, is like to say the purpose of art is copying what we see, is totally false. The purpose of argument I think is to test our opinions, by interacting with other's minds. Do we must do that? Or without argument with others, we have no way to have an valid opinions? We may or may not, but so often, one person's experience is limited, one brain also has its blind spot. Of course, not all arguments can achieve this purpose, but we must ARGUE to find it out.
To hold one's opinions seriously is wrong, but to test the validity of an opinion by dialectic means is healthy, and to argue all the way to the last point is only a natural thing to do for a thinking creature like a human.
Of course, it's perfect OK not to like argument, as we humans have great diversity in terms of mental activities, but to say argument is nonsense, is not VALID statement, by my opinion.

I personally find argument healthy and exciting. I "argue" with myself all the time. Many times after I found my arguments reached dead end I would start pounding my logic premises, which often helped me to find a better one. And sometime, a positive discussion could even made me felt like a better person. But why, so very often, when people lose argument they feel like life losers (I am not entirely free from this defect, but, I can proudly say I possessed it more in my remote past)? Why, can't we openly, loudly disagree with each other, and after all, still ware smiling faces and believe those who disagree with us are good persons? Why, so many people blame their opponents' obnoxiousness when they simply lost the "battles"? Isn't that because people take their opinions too seriously? Yes, we just touched something crucial: usually it is those who take their opinions seriously or personally dislike of arguments. 

Logical reasoning is just like artists throwing paint on canvases, it is a creativity, and probably, the most precious creativity of all. We should not dismiss or disrespect such gift from our mother nature. There is nothing wrong to love argument. I have no doubt I had lost friends in my past life due to this nature of arguing, and will lose more in future, but since it's their choices over which I have no control, I can't care less.

*The term "argument" in this post means discussion, logical debate, dialectics, etc.


  1. I LOVE argument and I do agree with you on this. I even thought of writing a post on this subject because I've noticed that people are afraid of disagreeing. I love to exchange opinions and to grow and think about different perspectives. Unfortunately, most people shy away from discussions. They are afraid of disagreeing. I also noticed that when I cared to disagree with somebody they did not enable my comment to appear under their post! Mind you, I was polite and respectful.
    I also think it is healthy to disagree and to listen and read about other perspectives.

  2. yes, being able to openly disagree with each others is healthy.
    the culture i came from, namely chinese, is worse on this matter. many people view disagreement as offense. i was glad when i first saw on tv in this country that people arguing with each others passionately. but of course, later i found there are many "taboos" as well.

  3. Yun, I am not surprised that you love argument and dialectics because you are a very reasoned thinker! And I think that’s a great thing. Yes, some people cannot handle disagreement (I think we have an entire wing of one US political party like that LOL!), but that’s their loss. I think healthy debate is necessary in all walks of life. I agree that the purpose of argument is to test our opinions and exchange ideas with others. It is healthy, and it's unfortunate that some people cannot accept disagreeing without taking themselves too seriously. Love your comparison of logical reasoning to artists throwing paint on a canvas, yes, it is creativity!

    1. I appreciate your understanding, Madilyn. I know many people would not get into thoughts like I do, just that those who are interested in this matter got so easily misunderstood. This is especially a case in China.